When I think back on my childhood I have so many special memories of time spent with my family. It seems, though, that most of these events took place during the summer months, and most of them happened outside.
So what were we doing, exactly?
I can assure you that we weren’t vacationing in some luxurious tropical locale.
We weren’t swimming with dolphins or traipsing through the world’s great urban centers.
And while we did our fair share of traveling and had many wonderful family adventures, the things I remember most about being a kid occurred in my neighborhood- or even my own backyard.
Summer can be a magical time when you have children. It can also be long, with one day at home seeming eerily like the day before. It’s tempting to spend our days indoors, watching television or playing video games. But when my kids look back on their childhood days, I want them to remember being active and playing- doing things together that don’t involve a screen.
Instead of waiting for vacation to entertain my children this summer, I’ve decided to plan one backyard activity each day for us to do together. They don’t have to be elaborate or costly or even require much time preparing for. The key is to have an attitude of adventure and fun and to make sure each of my children- even my toddler- can participate.
Here are 4 ideas for backyard fun with your toddler. Do you have a favorite?
Create A Simple Summer Sensory Box
My toddler and I love this fun and easy activity. Here I’ve taken an inexpensive container and filled it with shells, items from the yard, and a random dinosaur. She loves exploring the items to feel the variety of textures and interact with them in different ways. I just plopped her on a blanket in the yard and she was good to go!
An Old Standby… The Slip-N-Slide
This is my favorite picture of my middle child from last summer. It captures the essence of childhood. Do your kiddos love the Slip-N-Slide as much as mine?
Hours of fun await your toddler in this handmade teepee.
To purchase this pattern, visit Etsy.
Beat The Heat With Water Play
This is another favorite of my toddler’s. Fill a large tub or play pool with water, and give your toddler bath toys or other items like measuring cups or bowls. This is a great activity for speech therapy, color recognition, or playing matching games with your toddler.